If the Christian life is about waiting confidently for eternal life with our Lord which God has promised, then what should we be doing while we are waiting here on earth? The apostle Paul provides an answer in Galatians 5:6: “In Christ neither legalism nor license proves to have any value but only faith working itself out through love.”
The Christian life here on earth is about loving others and preparing ourselves for the One we love. Like a young bride preparing herself for the moment when she will stand before her groom, we ought to be preparing ourselves for the moment we will stand face to face before Jesus.
Scripture repeatedly uses the metaphor of Jesus being the Bridegroom with us as His bride. As His bride, we ought to stand firm and stay focused on Him, who has already demonstrated and pledged His love for us forever.
Are you someone who seems to be constantly working on your life and your own moral performance? Are you someone who seems to be casually wandering through life primarily focused on yourself? Or are you a committed follower of Jesus confidently waiting for a new life with Him and loving others around you while you wait?
Throughout history, many followers of Jesus have considered their pedigree, privileges and prestige within their community as nothing compared to knowing Jesus. Perhaps one reason we have such a hard time eagerly waiting for the new life to come is that we are clinging too tightly to our success and status in this life now. What we need to do is look at the life of Jesus:
“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” —Philippians 2:6-7
Through Jesus, we are given a new pedigree as a new creation transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are given new privileges as adopted children of God and heirs to all He has promised. And we are given a new prestige far greater than anything this world has to offer — we are representatives of the King of kings and citizens of the eternal Kingdom of God.
The only reasonable explanation for why we cling to this life more than we wait for the new life to come is that we are failing to truly know or trust Jesus. Let’s remember that Jesus chose not to cling to His status as God, but took on the form of a human servant in order to secure the promises of God for us. He has given up more than we will ever give in order to give us more than we could ever get.
It is only when we become captivated by the life of Jesus that we will find ourselves truly wanting and eagerly waiting for the new life to come.
—Terry Evans, chaplain for the Atlanta Braves